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ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:10 pm

Burma’s nuclear secrets
August 1, 2009




Is Burma preparing to build a nuclear arsenal? Two years of interviews with defectors have persuaded two Australian investigators, Desmond Ball and Phil Thornton, there is more to the claim than global scepticism suggests.

A FEW years back, a paranoid military regime packed up Burma’s capital and shifted it north a few hundred kilometres. Rangoon, it seems, simply wasn’t safe enough any more. The generals’ new home was to be known as the Abode of Kings; more commonly as Naypyidaw. A city rose from the tropical plains with shiny buildings and slick roadways – a strange priority in a country suffering chronic poverty and a health system at the bottom of world rankings.

Now, a fresh question hangs over the goals of Burmese rulers. Could this junta’s priorities be so skewed as to embark upon construction of a nuclear arsenal? And might it have reached out for help to another paranoid regime, North Korea?

Desmond Ball and Phil Thornton are convinced this is a genuine threat. They have spent two years on the Burmese border, interviewing defectors who claim to know the regime’s plans.
The testimony of two Burmese men in particular has caused Ball and Thornton to confront their own deep scepticism about the claims.

Theirs might seem an unlikely collaboration – Ball, a professor of strategic studies at ANU with a deep interest in nuclear technology, and Thornton, a freelance journalist based in Thailand. But their report on the two defectors’ claims adds to mounting – albeit sketchy – evidence that Burma may be chasing the bomb.

There have been hints Burma aspires to a nuclear program. What is uncertain is the extent and intent. Rumours have swirled around refugee circles outside Burma about secret military installations, tunnels dug into the mountains to hide nuclear facilities, the establishment of a ‘‘nuclear battalion’’ in the army and work done by foreign scientists. But one defector – known as Moe Jo to protect his identity – gives the claims added weight. He warned of the regime having a handful of bombs ready by 2020.

Moe Jo escaped Burmese army service and fled to Thailand. Ball and Thornton met with him in dingy rooms and safehouses. ‘‘His hands shook and he worried about what price his family would have to pay for his actions,’’ they write. ‘‘Before rejecting his country’s nuclear plans, Moe Jo was an officer with 10 years’ exemplary army service. A former graduate of Burma’s prestigious Defence Services Academy, he specialised in computer science.’’

Moe Joe said the regime sent him to Moscow in 2003 to study engineering. He was in a second batch of trainees to be sent to Russia as part of effort to eventually train 1000 personnel to run Burma’s nuclear program.

Before leaving, he was told he would be assigned to a special nuclear battalion.

‘‘You don’t need 1000 people in the fuel cycle or to run a nuclear reactor,’’ said Moe Joe. ‘‘It’s obvious there is much more going on.’’

We knew Russia agreed in principle to sell Burma a small nuclear plant – a light water reactor – and to train about 300 Burmese scientists to run the site. The stated reason is for research purposes, specifically to produce medical isotopes.

In dispute is whether the Russian reactor would be large enough to be diverted to produce enriched uranium or plutonium for a nuclear weapon. Usually a heavy water reactor is needed to achieve this, but perhaps not with North Korean help. Ball and Thornton write: ‘‘As North Korea has shown with their [light water] reactor, it may be slow and more complex, but it is capable.’’

Moe Jo alleged a second, secret reactor of about the same size as the Russian plant had been built at complex called Naung Laing. He said that the army planned a plutonium reprocessing system there and that Russian experts were on site to show how it was done. Part of the Burmese army’s nuclear battalion was stationed in a local village to work on a weapon. He said that an operations area was buried in the nearby Setkhaya Mountains, a set-up including engineers, artillery and communications to act as command and control centre for the nuclear weapons program.

‘‘In the event that the testimonies of the defectors are proved, the alleged ‘secret’ reactor could be capable of being operational and producing a bomb a year, every year, after 2014,’’ write Ball and Thornton.

Claims of this type have stirred serious official concerns. The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, journeyed to Thailand for a regional security meeting last month and directly raised the issue. ‘‘We know that there are also growing concerns about military co-operation between North Korea and Burma, which we take very seriously,’’ she said.

The unease escalated when a North Korean freighter, the Kang Nam I, steamed towards Burma last month carrying undisclosed cargo. A South Korean intelligence expert, quoted anonymously, claimed satellite imagery showed the ship was part of clandestine nuclear transfer and also carried long-range missiles. Shadowed by the US Navy, the vessel eventually turned around and returned home.

Japanese police also recently caught a North Korean and two Japanese nationals allegedly trying to export a magnetic measuring device to Burma that could be used to develop missiles.


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ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:12 pm

But it was what Clinton said during a television interview in Bangkok the next day that raised most eyebrows. For the first time, a senior White House official openly speculated on the prospect of nuclear co-operation between Burma and North Korea.


Clinton: ‘‘We worry about the transfer of nuclear technology and other dangerous weapons.’’

Question: ‘‘From North Korea, you mean?’’


Clinton: ‘‘We do, from North Korea, yes.’’

Q: ‘‘To Burma?’’


Clinton: ‘‘To Burma, yes.’’

Q: ‘‘So you’re concerned about the tie – the closer ties between North Korea and Burma?’’


Clinton: ‘‘Yes, yes.’’

But there are many doubts over how far Burma’s military regime has advanced its nuclear aspiration. Ball and Thornton say a regional security officer told them the Naung Laing operation was a decoy to distract people from the true site of the reactor.


‘‘Before it was a heavily guarded ‘no go-zone’. Now you can drive right up to the buildings. Villagers are allowed to grow crops again.’’ The security officer said the Russian-supplied reactor was located in the Myaing area.

To add to the confusion, there are doubts over the existence of the Russian reactor. ‘‘I’m sure the Russian reactor has not been built already,’’ says Mark Fitzpatrick, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies and a Burma watcher over most of the past decade. He will soon have a book published on nuclear plans across South-East Asia.


He sees ‘‘nothing alarming’’ in the prospective Russian deal – Russia is a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty which governs the export of civilian nuclear technology – and doubts Moscow would hide a reactor. Nor has the International Atomic Energy Agency raised questions about Burma’s nuclear ambitions.

But Fitzpatrick is sceptical about the stated reasons offered by Burma’s rulers to explain their interest in nuclear technology, whether for research or power generation.


‘‘The most logical explanation for this interest in research is a prestige factor,’’ he says. Burma wants to demonstrate a level of technology expertise and perhaps also deliberately raise doubts over its nuclear capability. Having the bomb, after all, is a power military deterrent against foreign attack.’’

Of the defectors’ claims, he says: ‘‘I’ve heard these reports and I pay attention to them, and they shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand.’’ North Korea is willing to sell anything to anyone, he says, and points to recent evidence that Pyongyang secretly sold a nuclear reactor to Syria.


Ball and Thornton add to the mystery by reporting the testimony of another defector they call Tin Min. He claimed to have worked as a bookkeeper for a tycoon closely linked to the Burmese military regime, whose company had supposedly organised nuclear contracts with Russia and North Korea. The deal with North Korea on nuclear co-operation supposedly dates back nine years, covering construction and maintenance of nuclear facilities.

‘‘Tin Min spoke excellent English and presented his reports to us with a touch of self-importance,’’ write Ball and Thornton. ‘‘Tin Min had good reason to know what it was like to feel important; before defecting, he had scaled the heights of his country’s high society and had reaped the benefits of that position.’’


Tin Min dismissed the regime’s rationale for requiring nuclear technology. ‘‘They say it’s to produce medical isotopes for health purposes in hospitals. How many hospitals in Burma have nuclear science? Burma can barely get electricity up and running. It’s a nonsense.’’

He claimed his boss once told him of the regime’s nuclear dreams. ‘‘They’re aware they cannot compete with Thailand with conventional weapons. They want to play power like North Korea. They hope to combine the nuclear and air defence missiles.’’ He said the nuclear program was known as UF6 Project and was run by the senior general Maung Aye. Ball and Thornton conclude the nuclear co-operation is based on a trade of locally refined uranium from Burma to North Korea in return for technological expertise.


Tin Min claimed his boss controlled much of the shipping in and out of Burma and could organise the transport of equipment to nuclear sites from the port at Rangoon. ‘‘He arranges for army trucks to pick up the containers of equipment from the North Korean boats that arrive in Rangoon and transport them at night by highway to the river or direct to the sites.’’

He also claimed to have paid a construction company in about 2004 to build a tunnel in a mountain at Naung Laing wide enough for two large trucks to pass each other.

But his story cannot be further tested. Tin Min died late last year.


There are obvious dangers of relying on the testimony of ‘‘defectors’’. The people giving evidence may have ulterior motives, as Ball and Thornton recognise, and the regime is not shy at disseminating false information.


Andrew Selth from Griffith University, a former senior intelligence analyst and an experienced Burma watcher, remains suspicious. ‘‘Understandably,’’ he recently wrote for the Lowy Institute, ‘‘foreign officials looking at these matters are being very cautious. No one wants a repetition of the mistakes which preceded the last Iraq war, either in underestimating a country’s capabilities, or by giving too much credibility to a few untested intelligence sources.

‘‘There has always been a lot of smoke surrounding Burma’s nuclear ambitions. Over the past year or so, the amount of smoke has increased, but still no one seems to know whether or not it hides a real fire.’’


Concern is not going away, however. The most recent edition of US Foreign Policy magazine compared claims surrounding Burma’s nuclear program to 1950s leaks about Israel having a secret nuclear site in the desert. Similar doubts held for claims about India and Pakistan. All three countries have since tested the bomb.

Ball and Thornton are convinced the world must face up to some uncomfortable possibilities. ‘‘According to all the milestones identified by the defectors, Burma’s nuclear program is on schedule. It is feasible and achievable. Unfortunately, it is not as bizarre or ridiculous as many people would like to think. Burma’s regional neighbours need to watch carefully.’’

Additional reporting by Daniel Flitton

http://www.smh.com.au/world/burmax2019s-nuclear-secrets-20090731-e4fv.html

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ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:08 pm


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ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:09 pm


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ตั้งหัวข้อ  Unknown on Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:32 am



เอเอฟพี/ASTVผู้จัดการรายวัน-- รัสเซียได้ลงนามในสัญญาที่จะจัดส่งเครื่องบินรบแบบมิก-19 (MIG-29) ให้กับรัฐบาลทหารพม่า ซึ่งนับว่าเป็นความเคลื่อนไหวล่าสุดในการขยายกองกำลังทหารของประเทศที่ ปกครองด้วยระบอบทหารมานานเกือบครึ่งศตวรรษ ทั้งนี้เป็นการรายงานของหนังสือพิมพ์ธุรกิจคอมเมอร์ซานต์ (Kommersant) ของรัสเซียในวันพุธ (23 ธ.ค.)

ข้อตกลงซื้อขายเครื่องบินรบระหว่างรัสเซียและพม่านี้เซ็นกันตั้งแต่ 2-3 สัปดาห์ก่อน ด้วยมูลค่า 400 ล้านยูโร (570 ล้านดอลลาร์) หนังสือพิมพ์ฉบับดังกล่าวรายงานอ้างการเปิดเผยของแหล่งข่าวใกล้ชิดของบริษัท โรโซโบรอนเอ็กซ์พอร์ต (Rosoboronexport) ซึ่งเป็นบริษัทขายอาวุธของรัฐบาล

พม่าที่อยู่ภายใต้การคว่ำบาตรจากชาติตะวันตก ซึ่งนักรณรงค์สิทธิมนุษยชนกล่าวว่า ที่ผ่านมารัฐบาลทหารได้รับการช่วยเหลือด้านอาวุธมาโดยตลอดจากประเทศเพื่อน บ้าน เช่น จีน อินเดีย และจากรัสเซียด้วย

รัสเซียก็เช่นเดียวกันกับจีนซึ่งต่างก็เป็นสมาชิกถาวรใน คณะมนตรีความมั่นคงแห่งสหประชาชาติได้พิทักษ์ปกป้องรัฐบาลทหารมาตลอด โดยใช้สิทธิยับยั้ง (วีโต้) ข้อมติประณามใดๆ ต่อรัฐบาลทหารที่ออกโดยองค์การสหประชาชาติ

แหล่งข่าวใกล้ชิดกับบริษัทจำหน่ายอาวุธจองทางการยังกล่าวอีกว่า รัสเซียได้ตกลงขายเครื่องบินรบ MIG-29 นี้ในขณะที่ทางจีนเองได้เสนอขายเครื่องบินขับไล่ที่ทันสมัยมากกว่าในรุ่น J-10 "ดรากอน" และ FC-1 "ธันเดอร์" ให้กับพม่าในเงื่อนไขที่ได้เปรียบมากกว่าเช่นกัน

หนังสือพิมพ์ฉบับนี้ยังได้ระบุว่า รัสเซียได้ส่งเครื่องบิน MIG-29 จำนวน 12 ลำให้แก่พม่าแล้วครั้งหนึ่งในปี 2544

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ตั้งหัวข้อ  Unknown on Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:01 pm

http://www.manager.co.th/IndoChina/ViewNews.aspx?NewsID=9530000001362

พม่าสร้างเมืองบริวารอีก 3 แห่งรอบเมืองหลวงใหม่

6 มกราคม 2553 13:41 น.



ภาพรอยเตอร์วันที่ 4 ก.ค.2552 ป้าย "ยินดีต้อนรับสู่เนย์ปีดอ" ติดอยู่ริมทางมอเตอร์เวย์สายใหม่จากกรุงย่างกุ้ง
ซึ่งเปิดให้ใช้อย่างไม่เป็นทางการ เนย์ปีดอเป็นป้อมปราการแห่งใหม่ของคณะปกครองทหารที่อยู่ในอำนาจมานาย
เกือบครึ่งศตวรรษ ที่นั่นปลอดการเดินขบวนประท้วงทุกชนิดที่เคยรบกวน และ ห่างไกลจากเรือปืนของนักล่าอาณานิคม

ซินหัว -- รัฐบาลทหารจะพัฒนา 5 เขตใหม่ขึ้นโดยรอบเมืองหลวง เพิ่มเติมจากที่มีอยู่เดิม 3 เมือง คือ
เพียงมะนา (Pyinmana) เลเว (Lewe) กับเมืองทัตโคน (Tatkon) ที่ได้รับการพัฒนาในช่วงหลังจากการย้ายเมืองหลวง
จากกรุงย่างกุ้งใหม่ๆ


นับตั้งแต่ขนย้ายศูนย์ราชการต่างๆ ไปที่นั่นในปี 2548 การก่อสร้างเหมืองหลวงแห่งใหม่ยังคงดำเนินต่อมาอย่างต่อเนื่อง
จนกระทั่งอาคารหน่วยงานของรัฐ ที่อยู่อาศัย ถนนสายหลัก ตลาด โรงแรมที่พัก ในบริเวณรอบเมือง แล้วเสร็จสมบูรณ์
ในช่วง 4 ปีที่ผ่านมา แต่ตัวเมืองก็ยังมีขนาดเล็กมากหากเทียบกับกรุงย่างกุ้ง

เขตเมืองที่กำหนดขึ้นมาในแผนการทั้งหมดใช้ชื่อเรียกอย่างเป็นทางการว่า อาวตารา (Oathara) เด็คกินา (Dekkina)
ป็อบฟา (Poppha) ซาปุ (Zapu) และ เซยาร (Zeyar) ซึ่งมีฐานะเป็นเขตหรืออำเภอ ซึ่งเมื่อรวมกับส่วนที่สร้างเสร็จแล้ว
เมืองหลวงใหม่เนย์ปีดอ ก็ตจะประกอบด้วยทั้งหมด 8 เขตบริหารหรือ 8 อำเภอ

ในขณะเดียวกัน รัฐบาลทหารพม่ายังคงดำเนินการย้ายหน่วยงานของรัฐอีกจำนวนหนึ่งที่ยังอยู่ในกรุงย่างกุ้ง
ไปยังที่ทำการแห่งใหม่ในเนย์ปีดอ ซึ่งเป็นช่วงของการโยกย้ายขั้นสุดท้ายหลังจากที่หน่วยงานส่วนใหญ่ได้ย้ายที่ทำการ
ไปที่นั่นแล้ว ส่วนอาคารสำนักงานต่างๆ ของรัฐที่อยู่ในย่างกุ้งจะใช้ทำการในส่วนของสำนักงานภาคใต้ของประเทศแทน
ทั้งนี้เป็นการรายงานของผู้สื่อข่าวท้องถิ่น

พม่าได้ย้ายเมืองหลวงจากย่างกุ้งไปยังเนย์ปีตอตั้งแต่เดือน พ.ย. 2548 ที่นั่นอยู่ห่างจากย่างกุ้งไปทางเหนือราว 390 กม.
โดยกรุงเนย์ปีดอตั้งอยู่ระหว่างแนวเขาพะโค (Bago) กับแนวเขาชาน (Shan) ทางทิศตะวันออก เมืองหลวงแห่งใหม่
มีเนื้อที่ประมาณ 7,054.37 ตารางกม. และ ในปัจจุบันมีประชากรอาศัยอยู่ประมาณ 924,608 คน

หลังจากย้ายเมืองหลวงแห่งใหม่ รัฐบาลได้จัดตั้งคณะกรรมการขึ้นโดยมี นายโซตา (Zoe Tha) รัฐมนตรีวางแผนและ
พัฒนาเศรษฐกิจแห่งชาติ ดำรงตำแหน่งประธาน เพื่อจัดการประมูลอาคารที่รัฐเป็นเจ้าของบางส่วนในย่างกุ้ง
การประมูลยังครอบคลุมถึงโครงการก่อสร้างที่พักอาศัยที่ดำเนินการภายใต้การ ดูแลของรัฐและแปลงที่ดินที่เกี่ยวข้อง



ภาพรอยเตอร์วันที่ 3 ก.ค.2552 ถนนสายหนึ่งในย่านนอกเมืองเนย์ปีดอที่ยังสร้างไม่เสร็จ ที่นั่นยังคงมีการก่อสร้าง
อะไรอีกหลายอย่าง หลังย้ายหน่วยราชการไปยังเมืองหลวงแห่งใหม่ตั้งแต่ปลายปี 2548 การก่อสร้างอาคาร สถานที่
จะยังดำเนินต่อไปตลอดทศวรรษข้างหน้า

ขณะเดียวกันรัฐบาลได้จัดสรรที่ดินในเนย์ปีตอให้กับพนักงานของรัฐที่ทำงานมายาวนานด้วย ซึ่งเป็นส่วนหนึ่งของ
ความพยายามในการพัฒนาเมืองหลวงแห่งใหม่ และให้สิทธิพิเศษแก่พนักงานของรัฐที่ทำงานรับใช้ประเทศมาแล้ว
อย่างน้อย 10 ปี และ อีก 2 ปีในเนย์ปีดอ สามารถซื้อที่ดินที่กำหนดไว้ได้

ตั้งแต่ปี 2549 เป็นต้นมา คณะกรรมการพัฒนาเมืองเนย์ปีดอได้เชิญนักลงทุนในท้องถิ่นเข้าลงทุนพัฒนาเมืองหลวง
โดยรัฐเสนอที่ดินให้เป็นการแลกเปลี่ยนและพัฒนาให้เป็นแหล่งที่อยู่อาศัยแห่งใหม่ แหล่งการค้า และ ศูนย์กลางทางหลวง

ในขณะเดียวกัน พม่ากำลังพัฒนาการคมนาคมขนส่งเชื่อมต่อกับเมืองหลวงเนย์ปีดอซึ่งเป็นส่วนหนึ่งของการพัฒนาเมืองหลวง
ประกอบด้วยทางหลวง 8 ช่องจราจรเส้นใหม่ เชื่อมต่อระหว่างย่างกุ้งกับเนย์ปีดอ และสร้างโดยบริษัทเอกชน 12 บริษัท
ซึ่งจะเปิดให้ใช้อย่างสมบูรณ์ในเดือนมี.ค. 2553 นี้

ทางหลวงสายย่างกุ้ง-เนย์ปีดอ ระยะทาง 323.2 กม. เป็นส่วนหนึ่งในโครงการทางหลวงสาย ย่างกุ้ง-เนย์ปีดอ-มัณฑะเลย์
รวมระยะทาง 563 กม.



ภาพเอเอฟพีวันที่ 4 ก.ค.2552 พระมหาเจดีย์อุปปตศานติ ซึ่งจำลองแบบไปจากมหาเจดีย์ชเวดากอง ในกรุงย่างกุ้ง
ก่อสร้างยังไม่แล้วเสร็จ แต่ทำพิธีบวงสรวงและเปิดใช้ไปแล้วในเดือน มี.ค.ปีเดียวกัน ยังจะต้องมีการก่อสร้างอะไรต่างๆ
อีกมากมายตลอดช่วง 10 ปีข้างหน้า รวมทั้งเขตเมืองบริวารอีก 3 แห่งด้วย

พม่ายังมีโครงการสร้างสถานีรถไฟขึ้นอีก 1 แห่งในเนย์ปีดอ ถัดจากสถานีในเพียงมะนาที่สร้างขึ้นในปี 2549 และ
จะแล้วเสร็จในเร็วๆ นี้เพื่อให้การเดินทางไปยังเนย์ปีดอมีความสะดวกสบายมากขึ้น โครงการนี้อยู่ในระหว่าง
การศึกษาความเป็นไปได้และสำรวจพื้นที่ก่อสร้าง

ทางการยังมีแผนการสร้างสวนสาธารณะ น้ำพุ สวนสัตว์ สวนบริเวณใจกลางเมือง และศูนย์การค้าแห่งใหม่อีก 42 แห่ง
โดยมีเป้าหมายเพื่อดึงดูดนักท่องเที่ยวให้มาเยือนเมืองหลวงแห่งใหม่

ทางการยังมีแผนการก่อสร้างอาคารทันสมัยต่างๆ สำหรับหน่วยงานรัฐ ส่วนที่พักอาศัย โรงพยาบาลเอกชน ธนาคาร
อาคารสภาหอการค้าและอุตสาหกรรมแห่งสหภาพพม่า (UMFCCI) และ โครงการศูนย์การค้าระดับนานาชาติ
เป็นโครงการที่จะดำเนินไปตลอดทศวรรษข้างหน้า เพื่อให้เป็นสัญลักษณ์ของความทันสมัยของเมืองหลวงแห่งใหม่ในอนาคต.

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ตั้งหัวข้อ  hacksecrets on Sun May 30, 2010 6:47 pm


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ตั้งหัวข้อ  hacksecrets on Sun May 30, 2010 6:55 pm


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ตั้งหัวข้อ  hacksecrets on Sun May 30, 2010 6:58 pm


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ตั้งหัวข้อ  hacksecrets on Sun May 30, 2010 7:10 pm


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ตั้งหัวข้อ  hacksecrets on Sun May 30, 2010 7:12 pm


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ตั้งหัวข้อ  hacksecrets on Sun May 30, 2010 7:15 pm


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ตั้งหัวข้อ  คนใจดี on Sun May 30, 2010 11:11 pm

งานเข้าแล้วไหมละชาวไทย....ช่วยเร่งให้การศึกษาทหารไทยด้วยนะ โง่นัก ดีแต่จ่อยิงกระบานชาวไทย ที่เค้าเป็นทหารดีๆมีสมองก็ไปเสือกเก็บเค้า...ที่เหลือนะหรือ..????..เบื่อ....

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ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sun May 30, 2010 11:12 pm

คนใจดี พิมพ์ว่า:ที่เหลือนะหรือ..????..เบื่อ....

เห็นด้วยล้านเปอร์เซ็นต์

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ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Mon May 31, 2010 7:47 pm

Burma to execute two over secret tunnels leak

A Burmese court has sentenced to death two men and imprisoned at least three others for leaking military information, including photographs of a secret visit to North Korea by one of the military junta’s most senior generals.

The three men, one of them a major in the Burmese army, were also convicted of distributing photographs of a secret network of military tunnels which, together with the evidence of high-level contacts with North Korea, raised suspicions that Burma might be developing its own nuclear weapons.

The photographs and documents were published last summer after being obtained by exiled media and foreign reporters in Bangkok. They showed a visit to North Korea and to China by the third-ranking figure in the Burmese junta, General Thura Shwe Mann.

According to journalists based in Rangoon, the Northern Yangon District Court sentenced to death Major Win Naing Kyaw and an employee of the foreign ministry named Thura Kyaw under the Emergency Provision Act. Major Win Naing Kyaw was also convicted of holding illegal foreign currency and of offences under the Electronic Act, which bans the transmission via the Internet of data, photos or video judged to be damaging to the Government.

Three other civilians, including one named Byan Sein, also received prison sentences of up to 15 years. According to exiled Burmese journalists, dozens of other people were also arrested in connection with the leaks.

The trial was held in secret in Rangoon’s notorious Insein Prison. It has not so far been reported in Burma’s strictly censored state media, and few details of the alleged offences or perpetrators are known. But according to journalists in Rangoon, a man named Win Naing Kyaw used to be the private secretary of General Tin Oo, the country’s fourth most powerful man, responsible for defence procurement, who died in a helicopter crash in 2001.

The publication of the photographs prompted the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to say that she was “very concerned at the possibility of nuclear co-operation between Pyongyang and Rangoon".

“We know that there are also growing concerns about military co-operation between North Korea and Burma, which we take seriously,” she said. “It would be destabilising for the region. It would pose a direct threat to Burma's neighbours.”

The photographs, taken between 2003 and 2006, did not in themselves prove anything definitive about Burma’s nuclear ambitions. But they did show that the regime and its military have done a great deal of tunnelling, with the help of the world’s great military moles, the North Koreans.

The tunnels, believed to be close to the regime’s purpose-built new capital, Naypyidaw, are more likely to be designed for the storage of weapons, ammunition and personnel as they are to be nuclear sites.

Some tunnels and subterranean meeting halls have been built near Taunggyi, in the northeast of Burma, where insurgent armies are fighting decades-old independence struggles. Pictures dating from 2006 show a group of technicians with East Asian features emerging from a hotel in Naypyidaw area — these have been identified as North Koreans, whose own million-strong army is hunkered down in massive tunnel complexes along the border with its enemy, South Korea.

As repressive and isolated military dictatorships, Burma and North Korea might appear to have much in common. In fact, relations were frozen for years after an incident in 1983 when 18 South Korean officials, including four cabinet ministers, were blown up by North Korean agents during a visit to Rangoon.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6980654.ece

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ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Mon May 31, 2010 7:55 pm

Nuclear Rangoon

by Doug Bandow
03.30.2010

For years the West has treated Burma as primarily a humanitarian crisis. Now the issue is complicated by evidence that the ruling junta is interested in nuclear energy, and perhaps even in nuclear weapons. Still, the idea of an atomic arsenal in Rangoon is both distant and far-fetched. The more immediate challenge for Washington is dealing with one of the most repressive regimes ruling over one of the poorest peoples. The United States should promote more democratic governance and increased international engagement, which ultimately would reduce any incentive for Burma, also known as Myanmar, to consider atomic options.

Burma has suffered under military rule for five decades. The junta foolishly held an election in 1990, which was won overwhelmingly by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy. The regime voided the poll and arrested numerous democracy activists. The so-called State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has brutally suppressed human rights ever since. Suu Kyi, a Nobel Prize Laureate, has spent decades under house arrest. The SPDC now is preparing to hold elections organized to ensure permanent military control.

Promised autonomy by the British, ethnic groups like the Karen, Karenni, Chin, Shan, Kachin, and Wa long have battled the central government. Fighting in the nation’s east has killed and injured tens of thousands, forced hundreds of thousand to flee over the border into Thailand, and displaced millions more within Burma.

In recent years the regime has reached cease-fire agreements with several groups, but basic political issues remain unresolved and tensions have been rising. The government is pressing groups to disarm and disband, without offering any political protections. Karen National Union General Secretary Zipporah Sein warns that there is the “greatest possibility of renewed conflict.” The Burmese army and ethnic forces are preparing for renewed hostilities.

In 2008 Cyclone Nargis ravaged Burma, killing an estimated 140,000 people and leaving more than three million homeless. The country remains desperately poor, with a per capita GDP estimated to run no more than $1,200. Yet this tragically misgoverned and impoverished nation has been accused of developing nuclear weapons.

Last year the Sydney Morning Herald reported: “Rumors have swirled around refugee circles outside Burma about secret military installations, tunnels dug into the mountains to hide nuclear facilities, the establishment of a ‘nuclear battalion’ in the army and work done by foreign scientists.”

Defectors cite plans to construct nuclear bombs. Last year Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voiced concern over possible nuclear cooperation between North Korea and Burma.

Discerning the SPDC’s capabilities and intentions is not easy. After all, the fanciful claims of Ahmed Chalabi’s famed defector, “Curveball,” helped justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Author Catherine Collins acknowledges that “the evidence of malfeasance so far is slight” but worries that similar whispers of Israeli nuclear activity in the 1950s turned out to be accurate.

In fact, Burmese interest in nuclear power runs back decades. That does not, however, mean the regime has an interest in developing nuclear weapons.

Burma is a most unlikely nuclear weapons state. It has only about half of North Korea’s per capita GDP. Lack of funds is thought to have held up planned Russian construction of a nuclear research reactor—which would operate under international safeguards.

The regime must spend heavily on the army to suppress domestic protest and ethnic resistance, purposes for which atomic weapons would be useless. And the regime faces no serious outside threats.

What of paranoia and prestige? Author Bertil Lintner contends: “There is no doubt that the Burmese generals would like to have a bomb so that they could challenge the Americans and the rest of the world.” Perhaps, though just being thought to have the possibility of making one might have some deterrent value. And Andrew Selth of the Griffith Asia Institute points to “a siege mentality among Burma’s leaders. Even now, they fear intervention by the United States and its allies—possibly even an invasion—to restore democracy to Burma.” However, he believes that at most “a few Burmese generals envy North Korea’s apparent ability to use its nuclear weapons capabilities to fend off its enemies and win concessions form the international community.”

In fact, the best evidence is against a nuclear weapons program. The Irrawaddy News Magazine cites understandable suspicions, but opines: “It is admittedly premature to conclude that Burma intends to undertake the complicated and perilous process of reprocessing uranium to get weapons-grade plutonium.”

A recent report from the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) concluded that Burma:

has no known capabilities that would lend themselves to a nuclear weapons program, apart from limited uranium deposits and some personnel who have received nuclear training overseas. If it is built, a 10 MWt research reactor and associated training from Russia could provide the basis for an eventual civilian nuclear power program, but few of the skills required for such a program are readily transferable to nuclear weapons development. Specialized reprocessing or enrichment facilities would be necessary to produce weapons-usable fissile material, and any attempt to divert plutonium from the reactor is likely to be detected by IAEA inspectors.

Are there secret facilities? Noted a January study from the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) in Washington, D.C.: the “sheer number of alleged secret sites posited by these defectors by itself raises doubts about their claims.” North Korea has assisted the SPDC in building tunnels near its new capital of Naypyidaw, but the little available intelligence suggests that they have non-nuclear purposes. Concluded the ISIS: “Despite the public reports to the contrary, the military junta does not appear to be close to establishing a significant nuclear capability. Information suggesting the construction of major nuclear facilities appears unreliable or inconclusive.”

In past years the Singapore government said the possibility was “unlikely” and the British government found no evidence of uranium reprocessing or enrichment. Washington consistently has excluded Burma when discussing nonproliferation issues.

America and other states still have reasons to be watchful and wary. There is no crisis, however. Noted the ISIS: “Because Burma’s known program is so small, the United States and its allies have an opportunity to both engage and pressure the military regime in a manner that would make it extremely difficult for Burma to acquire a nuclear weapons capability, let alone nuclear weapons.”

Unfortunately, the West’s ability to influence the SPDC in any regard is quite limited. The regime places its survival above all other objectives, while the U.S. and EU already apply economic sanctions against Burma. Most of Burma’s neighbors invest in and trade with the regime. Russia and China have blocked UN sanctions; the latter also has helped arm the junta. Regime change obviously is desirable for the people of Burma as well as Western governments, but if the junta believes that it faces a military threat—one reason it apparently rejected American cyclone aid sent via U.S. warships—it is likely to be less willing to consider political reform and more willing to pursue a nuclear weapons program. Thus, Washington should seek to reduce the junta’s fears.

Andrew Selth makes a reasonable argument that the “aggressive rhetoric, open support for opposition figures, funding for expatriate groups and military interventions in other undemocratic countries have all encouraged the belief among Burma’s leaders that the America and its allies are bent on forcible regime change.” The United States should continue to press for improved human rights, but should demonstrate by word and deed that there are no plans to take military action against Burma. In fact, Selth believes that “the SPDC’s fears of an invasion seem to have diminished in recent years.”

At the same time, America, the EU, Canada, and Australia should together offer to relax trade and diplomatic sanctions if the regime takes steps which genuinely open the political system and reduce ethnic conflict. At the same time, the Western states should encourage India, Japan, South Korea, and the ASEAN states to apply coordinated diplomatic and economic pressure on the SPDC, backed by the threat of imposing targeted sanctions against junta leaders and business partners. The pain should be personalized against decision-makers rather than applied against the entire population. Washington should use the potential, however slim, of a Burmese nuclear program to encourage greater Indian and Russian involvement, in particular.

Both nations routinely resist intervention to promote human rights, but they might be more willing to press for political reform if doing so would reduce the likelihood of nuclear complications.

The United States should similarly engage China. American officials should make the argument that Beijing, too, is harmed by instability in Burma, especially if the latter becomes a nuclear state. China recently was angered by a Burmese military offensive which pushed refugees across its border. Surely Beijing does not want another isolated, unpredictable nuclear weapons state as a neighbor.

Moreover, promoting political change in Burma would enhance China’s international reputation. Washington also should pledge—a promise worth repeating for North Korea—that that United States would not take military advantage of any Burmese liberalization. There would be no American bases, naval deployments, or training missions irrespective of the government.

Burma might not respond positively. Yet in the months after Cyclone Nargis the International Crisis Group reported that “it is possible to work with the military regime on humanitarian issues.” Frank Smithuis of Doctors Without Borders similarly said that “the military at times has actually been quite helpful to us.”

Burma is one of the world’s greatest international tragedies. Nuclear weapons would turn it into one of the greatest international challenges. Unfortunately, current U.S. policy is doing nothing to help the Burmese people. It is time to try a different approach in an attempt to simultaneously aid political liberalization and end talk of a Burmese Bomb.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Reagan, he also is the Robert A. Taft Fellow at the American Conservative Defense Alliance and the author of several books, including Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire (Xulon).

http://www.nationalinterest.org/

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ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Mon May 31, 2010 8:07 pm

Burma, North Korea and the nuclear question
May 18th, 2010
Author: Andrew Selth, Griffith University

For the past ten years, Burma has been accused of trying to acquire a nuclear weapon. A number of developments during this period — notably Burma’s growing relationship with North Korea — have raised international concerns. Yet, to date, no hard evidence of such a plan has been produced.



Claims of a secret nuclear weapons program date back to 2000, when Burma’s military government announced that it was going to purchase a small research reactor from Russia. These accusations were repeated in 2003, when it was suggested by a respected news magazine that North Korea had taken over from Russia as the source of Burma’s nuclear technology. In the years that followed, the issue surfaced periodically on activist websites, but in August 2009 it attracted global attention when a story appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) citing ANU Professor Des Ball and the Thai-based journalist Phil Thornton.

The SMH claimed that there were in fact two nuclear projects running in Burma. The first was the Russian research centre, which was to be operated under international safeguards. (Contrary to the SMH story, construction of this reactor has not yet begun). The second was said to be a secret project to build a reactor and associated nuclear fuel processing plants with North Korean help. According to the SMH, if all went according to plan Burma would have a nuclear weapon by 2014 and ‘a handful’ of such devices by 2020. The main sources for these claims were two Burmese ‘defectors’ and commercial imagery of suspect facilities in Burma.

Needless to say, such claims have been the subject of close scrutiny by the US and other governments. There have also been comprehensive studies of the issue by independent think tanks like the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London and the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington.

The US government has expressed its concern about the defence ties that appear to have developed between Burma and North Korea over the past decade. These links reportedly include the sale of conventional arms to Burma, North Korean help with the development of Burma’s defence infrastructure (including the construction of various underground facilities), assistance to Burma’s arms industries, and training in fields like air defence. In 2004, the US successfully blocked the sale of some North Korean short-range ballistic missiles to Burma.

The Obama Administration has also stated its wish to discuss a number of proliferation issues with Burma, including the possible transfer of nuclear technology from North Korea. Significantly, however, at no time has the US government stated that Burma is attempting to develop a nuclear weapon, with or without North Korean help. Indeed, despite considerable pressure from members of Congress, activists and journalists, Washington has refused to be drawn on the subject. Its position seems to reflect either a belief that Burma does not have a secret nuclear weapons program, or a lack of hard evidence to support such a claim.

This approach has been shared by other countries, including the UK and Australia, both of which have referred only to ‘unconfirmed’ reports of a secret nuclear program. For their part, the IISS and ISIS have both stated that there is insufficient evidence to support the claims made by journalists, activists and others. The IISS, for example, said in late 2009 that ‘[Burma] has no known capabilities that would lend themselves to a nuclear weapons program’. ISIS wrote this April that ‘Despite the public reports to the contrary, the military junta does not appear close to establishing a significant nuclear capability’.

Even so, both governments and think tanks remain suspicious of Burma’s intentions, and point to a number of factors which they believe warrant continuing close attention.

Of all Southeast Asian countries, Burma has the strongest strategic rationale for a nuclear weapons program. Since the abortive pro-democracy uprising in 1988, the military government has feared armed intervention by the US and its allies. The regime has also suffered from economic sanctions and other punitive measures. Burma’s generals envy North Korea’s ability to resist such pressures and still win concessions from the international community. They reportedly believe that this influence derives from Pyongyang’s possession of nuclear weapons.

In addition, Burma has for some years been working closely with two North Korean trading entities that have a record of proliferating sensitive nuclear and missile technologies. Also, Burma has imported a number of sophisticated machines and items of dual-use equipment from Europe and Japan that could conceivably be used in a nuclear program. The number of Burmese sent to Russia for nuclear-related training seems to be more than that required for a peaceful research program. Furthermore, some of the claims made by the ‘defectors’ are plausible.

None of these factors in themselves prove that Burma has embarked on a nuclear weapons program. There are other possible explanations for developments over the past decade. After the mistakes of the Iraq war, no government wants to rush to judgment, based on incomplete or unverified intelligence. Having been caught napping a few years ago, however, when it was discovered that Syria was building a reactor with North Korean help, the international community is now looking carefully for hard evidence of a secret Burmese nuclear program.

Andrew Selth is a Research Fellow at Griffith Asia Institute.

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ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Mon May 31, 2010 8:21 pm



The Burmese junta’s No.3 Gen Shwe Mann (left) and North Korean counterpart Gen Kim Kyok-sik sign a memorandum of understanding at the defense ministry in Pyongyang in November 2008.
======================================

North Korea Exporting Nuke Technology to Burma: UN Experts
Friday, May 28, 2010
By EDITH M. LEDERER/ AP Writer

UNITED NATIONS — North Korea is exporting nuclear and ballistic missile technology and using multiple intermediaries, shell companies and overseas criminal networks to circumvent U.N. sanctions, U.N. experts said in a report obtained by The Associated Press.

The seven-member panel monitoring the implementation of sanctions against North Korea said its research indicates that Pyongyang is involved in banned nuclear and ballistic activities in Iran, Syria and Burma. It called for further study of these suspected activities and urged all countries to try to prevent them.

The 47-page report, obtained late Thursday by AP, and a lengthy annex document, details sanctions violations reported by U.N. member states, including four cases involving arms exports and two seizures of luxury goods by Italy — two yachts and high-end recording and video equipment. The report also details the broad range of techniques that North Korea is using to try to evade sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council after its two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.

Council diplomats discussed the report by the experts from Britain, Japan, the United States, France, South Korea, Russia and China at a closed-door meeting on Thursday.

Its release happened to coincide with heightened tensions between North Korea and South Korea over the March sinking of a South Korean navy ship which killed 46 sailors. The council is waiting for South Korea to decide what action it wants the U.N.'s most powerful body to take in response to the sinking, which a multinational investigation determined was caused by a North Korean torpedo.

The panel of experts said there is general agreement that the U.N. embargoes on nuclear and ballistic missile related items and technology, on arms exports and imports except light weapons, and on luxury goods, are having an impact.

But it said the list of eight entities and five individuals currently subject to an asset freeze and travel ban seriously understates those known to be engaged in banned activities and called for additional names to be added. It noted that North Korea moved quickly to have other companies take over activities of the eight banned entities.

The experts said an analysis of the four North Korean attempts to illegally export arms revealed that Pyongyang used "a number of masking techniques" to avoid sanctions. They include providing false descriptions and mislabeling of the contents of shipping containers, falsifying the manifest and information about the origin and destination of the goods, "and use of multiple layers of intermediaries, shell companies, and financial institutions," the panel said.

It noted that a chartered jet intercepted in Thailand in December carrying 35 tons of conventional weapons including surface-to-air missiles from North Korea was owned by a company in the United Arab Emirates, registered in Georgia, leased to a shell company registered in New Zealand and then chartered to another shell company registered in Hong Kong — which may have been an attempt to mask its destination.

North Korea is also concealing arms exports by shipping components in kits for assembly overseas, the experts said.

As one example, the panel said it learned after North Korean military equipment was seized at Durban harbor in South Africa that scores of technicians from the North had gone to the Republic of Congo, where the equipment was to have been assembled.

The experts called for "extra vigilance" at the first overseas port handling North Korean cargo and close monitoring of airplanes flying from the North, saying Pyongyang is believed to use air cargo "to handle high valued and sensitive arms exports."

While North Korea maintains a wide network of trade offices which do legitimate business as well as most of the country's illicit trade and covert acquisitions, the panel said Pyongyang "has also established links with overseas criminal networks to carry out these activities, including the transportation and distribution of illicit and smuggled cargoes."

This may also include goods related to weapons of mass destruction and arms, it added.

Under council resolutions, all countries are required to submit reports on what they are doing to implement sanctions but as of April 30 the panel said it had still not heard from 112 of the 192 U.N. member states — including 51 in Africa, 28 in Asia, and 25 in Latin America and the Caribbean.

While no country reported on nuclear or ballistic missile-related imports or exports from North Korea since the second sanctions resolution was adopted last June, the panel said it reviewed several U.S.

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ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Mon May 31, 2010 8:23 pm

and French government assessments, reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency, research papers and media reports indicating Pyongyang's continuing involvement in such activities.
These reports indicate North Korea "has continued to provide missiles, components, and technology to certain countries including Iran and Syria ... (and) has provided assistance for a nuclear program in Syria, including the design and construction of a thermal reactor at Dair Alzour," the panel said.

Syria denied the allegations in a letter to the IAEA, but the U.N. nuclear agency is still trying to obtain reports on the site and its activities, the panel said.

The experts said they are also looking into "suspicious activity in Burma," including activities of Namchongang Trading, one of the companies subject to U.N. sanctions, and reports that Japan in June 2009 arrested three individuals for attempting to illegally export a magnetometer — which measures magnetic fields — to Burma via Malaysia allegedly under the direction of a company known to be associated with illicit procurement for North Korea's nuclear and military programs. The company was not identified.

http://www.irrawaddy.org/

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ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Mon May 31, 2010 8:47 pm

Burma 2010: The Economic Shakedown and the Backstage of the Theatre of War

The Sun Maker Special News Feature: Written by The Sun Maker and Michael John Chahine

The Global Fund will return to Burma with a two-year US $110 million grant to fight three diseases: HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

The Defacto rate is referred to as the difference that occurs when changing currencies within a country or outside its borders. Currency are always shifting, however Burma currency has become a master in shape shifting. The problem with the local Burman currency, the Kyat, is that inside the country is has a significant different value than outside the country, this brings forward corruption as well as NGO scams, AID money scams, and other local economic violence schemes.

According to Irrawaddy.org; "In August 2005, the Global Fund, the world's leading donr of grants to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, terminated its anti-AIDS program in Burma. The five-year program would have provided more than US $98 million. At the time, the fund said that the military regime had placed prohibitive restrictions on the implementation of its aid.

Global Fund said the decision to terminate its projects was made in the light of "the [Burmese] government's newly established clearance procedures restricting access of the principal recipient [the UN Development Programme], certain sub-recipients, as well as the staff of Global Fund and its agents, to grant-implementation areas."

As mentioned, outside the country the Kyat is completely useless, countries in the region will not accept kyat as money notes. Inside Burma 1 USD can be traded for 6.4 Kyat, and 100 USD would be worth approximately 640 Kyat. But outside the country the Burmese government trades it local currency at different rates, they trade 1 USD for as much as 100 USD.

When foreign currency wishes to enter the country of Burma, it will usually do so via banks in Singapore. So if 1 million USD enters Burma, it could be worth in the Black Market some where from 400 to 600 million Kyat. Therefore only 6.4 million Kyat are traded or converted and the remaining would never even be converted from Kyat. This non converted percentage would be stored in foreign accounts, according to confidential sources, in Singapore banks.

In the 1980s Ne Win under the Bodaws advice, changed the currency denominations that were divisible by the magic number 9, for example 45 ky and 90 kyat notes. This outrageous action was effected overnight without warning, of course the Military and their cronies had their share of the new currency, whilst most of the population suffered great losses.

The Official Govt rate is 6 to $1 USD. The de facto rate (REAL TERMS) or the $USD varies from 800 -1200Ky which can be obtained in the Black Market in Border areas of Thailand Northern border area region. The main bank for this is the Kambawza Bank controlled by Aung Ko Win Grandson of no 2 General Maung Aye, (this Generalดs background is Chinese, this restricts him from becoming the Juntas' Leader). This bank transfers Narco Money, extortion money and money from Military personnel from corrupt activities. The Scam is that all AID (NGO contributions etc) money is exchanged at 6 to the Dollar... then converted through banks controlled by certain Generals families who then transfer these funds to Singaporean banks or use SWIFT(2003) to secret Bank accounts in Singapore and other safe haven Junta Friendly Countries, and other countries, however the preferred destination is Singapore.

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ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Mon May 31, 2010 8:49 pm

This has lead to many problems when working with foreign aid, and assistance. Local on ground sources and witness report about the Human Rights violence perpetuated in constant oppression to people of Burma, by the Burma Junta Government. Several sources claim that during the Cyclone Disaster, the media covered the lack of accessibility of international aids to reach the hands of the affected people. South East Asia, sources say, that NGOs are onto the scam and are negotiating better deals (anywhere between 600-800 Kyats). What has been revealed to this media is that not only was there problem of getting the Aid to the people, but the problem consisted in both logistics, and corruption. Sources claim that the incoming international aid was changed for stored away aid, which was expired in many cases. In other words, Junta Government exchanged the incoming aid for expired, "useBy date", from Burmese Military Stores. The new aid was put into military supplies, and the stored goods, where given to the people as International Aid. This they said, "is a symbol of how far the government situation is willing to affect its the heart and soul of the Burmese citizens." The switched aid was handed out by local militia, referred by some as the Swine Militia, and named by government as Swan-Arr-Shin, this translates into Master of Force, or capable people of power. An onground source said he had discussions, in those days, with American Navy personal who where outside the city to deliver aid, he claims the military personal revealed that they where unfortunately going to have to return the US military vessel loaded with aid for the people affected by the Cyclone, because local government and port authorities of Burma where demanding 5 million US dollars as Docking Fees, to dock in the Burmese port. A lot of the aid did not get through. This is yet another deep symbol of the aid and control situation in Burma, and how it can lead to corruption and human rights violations. Sources have also stated that aid assistance teams where delayed by VISA offices up to one month. The reason for this delay is that, according to government spokesperson, a fire broke out accidentally in the VISA offices. The millions of dollars that go into Burma every year for aid can be found online.


Crowd Control and Military Roles

Amung the people of Burma, and most definitely amung the students, workers and activists of the democracy for Burma, the Swine Militia (Junta Operative), civilian dressed personel, recruited from the criminal arenas, mercenaries, and mafia, infiltrates the organisations. Onground sources claim that these men are paid up to 2000 kyat for taking in activist and demonstrators, as well as for seaking and taking into custody the listed and wanted. The Swan-Arr-Shin, translates into Master of Force, or capable people of power, referred by some as the Swine Militia. They can be easily identified in all demonstrations, or when a political activists are making a speech. In many videos of Aung Suu Yi Kyi, talking to a crowd, Swan-Arr.Shin, dressed in civilians cloths, can be seen in the background. Sometimes in dark sunglasses, they attempt to blend, as they pass on information and talk on the phone. In street demonstrations, where Monks are beaten, kicked and forced to sit on the floor, and military transportation takes away the demonstrators, it is many times these civilian dressed Swine Militia that load the demonstrators themselves into the military transport. The military transports are filled to the top, and they drive away leaving some high ranked military presence in the zone, and hunderd of shoes in the ground left as a reminder of the unexplainable and improbable destiny of those arrested. This militia can be referred as taking part of information services, secret policing, and secret services. They are as well versatile in spying, infiltration and other strategies of pressure and force. They are responsible for the splinting of the opposition groups by means of hostile activity.

The Natural Resources and the Military Agenda

In May 28, 2007, Aljazeera reported on Burma, in the end an online article they state "After all, the government is enjoying millions of dollars in new investment in natural gas research, oil exploration and hydro-electric projects from Thailand, China and India, among others."

Naypyidaw is the new capital of Burma, built under the advice of a Bodaw. Napyidaw does not have power restrictions, nor does any government controlled Corporate factory or business. Burma seeking expansion, is moving into hydroelectricity, however the total percentage of the budget placed in military development is bringing concerns to other areas. The Burmese Junta is embarking on Nuclear power. If we consider that a country like Burma that has a significant quantity of gas and oil, and that from which Thailand imports 30% of its energy needs, the issue of Burmese Energy and developments can be considered as one of the greatest Economic Human rights in History.

The Irrawaddy reported on Burma's Nuclear ambitions on January 21, 2010, they stated, "Assurances of peaceful intentions arouse only scepticism. Burma's confirmation of plans to build a 10-megawatt nuclear reactor with the help of Russia's federal atomic energy agency Rosatom has created nervousness and anxiety among Burma observers."

The Sydney Morning Herald revealed in August 1st, 2009 a more concerning news. The story reads online , "Burma's isolated military junta is building a secret nuclear reactor and plutonium extraction facilities with North Korean help, with the aim of acquiring its first nuclear bomb in five years, according to evidence from key defectors revealed in an exclusive Herald report today."

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ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Mon May 31, 2010 8:50 pm

There are growing number of energy Nuclear developments, throughout the World, although all are tainted with the negative impression that always follows to the word nuclear, not all energy nuclear developments become dangerously linked to other uses of nuclear technology. These are uses of military characteristics. To link Burma's Nuclear card playing with North Korea is for some to link them directly with Iran.

The Independent UK also reports on the concerns of Burma Nuclear development, they stated; "Two of Asia's most oppressive regimes may have joined forces to develop a nuclear arsenal, according to strategic experts who have analysed information supplied by a pair of Burmese defectors."

Regarding environment, the flooding of the Salween Damp in Burma, to build a hydroelectric development, has been the cause for many environmental discontent. Environmentalist state this damp, is very dangerous for the overall health of the regional and habitat.

In the words of Burmacampaign.org.uk; "Threatened with plans by Burma's generals to dam the Salween river and submerge vast tracts of their homelands, the Karenni are releasing a new report today which exposes the parallels between the devastating impacts of Burma's first large scale hydropower project, built in their state, and those of the planned Salween dams. The report highlights the destructive mix of development and military rule in Burma."

There are also several news stories published or broadcasted by the main stream media, that report on US or regional forces of South East Asia, intercepting military weapons and machinery, missiles and nuclear equipment. The target of these interceptions have been airplanes and ships. Their origin; North Korea. Destination, most likely and sometimes verified beyond doubt; Burma.

So, if there is relative coverage and significant international pressure, why is the Burmese Junta still in control of the government? And what is the best way for Burmese people to find a free society? We posed these questions to Michael Chahine, one of our sources, with years of onground experience in South East Asia.

Read part 2 and 3 at The Sun Maker
http://www.sun-maker.com/2010/01/burma-2010-economic-shakedown-and_23.html

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ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Mon May 31, 2010 10:13 pm

Rising Border Tension Threatens China-Burma Relations
By MITCH MOXLEY / IPS WRITER
Thursday, May 20, 2010

BEIJING — When the military regime in Burma launched a campaign last August to disarm the ethnic rebels in the Kokang region, made up mostly of ethnic Chinese and where a two-decade long cease-fire had been in place, the push triggered an exodus of more than 37,000 refugees into China’s Yunnan Province.

The move, which frustrated the Chinese government in Beijing, sheds light on brewing troubles in China-Burma relations. China has a significant interest in a stable Burma and a greater influence over the xenophobic regime than perhaps any other power. But as an election approaches in Burma (officially known as Myanmar) that the ruling generals dubiously claim will be free and fair, China-Burma relations are growing increasingly strained.

Complicating matters is growing anxiety that another push against armed ethnics groups in eastern Burma will cause a second refugee crisis in southern China’s Yunnan province, which borders the military-ruled Southeast Asian state along with Laos and Vietnam. Observers say the junta is preparing for a military campaign against the 30,000-strong United Wa State Army, which is ethnically Chinese and has been accused by the United States of being a drug cartel.

"What’s happening on the border brings into sharp relief the fault lines in [China-Burma relations] that have been apparent for some time but are now more clearly defined," said Dr. Ian Storey, a fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.

"This is not a relationship that is based on trust and mutual friendship. It’s very much a marriage of convenience."

In Burma, distrust of China runs deep, and the junta has for several years tried to reduce its dependence on the latter by courting other nations, namely, India and Russia. China, meanwhile, has grown frustrated with Burma’s lack of progress on political reform and addressing economic disparities, Dr Storey said.

Burma was one of the first countries to recognize the People’s Republic of China in 1949, but relations turned for the worse in the 1960s, culminating in anti-Chinese riots in the then-capital, Rangoon (now known as Yangon). But when Western countries imposed broad sanctions on Burma following a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in 1988, China upped aid and arms shipments and fostered trade relations.

Since then, China has provided broad diplomatic and economic support for the junta, considered one of the most corrupt in the world. According to state media, China is Burma’s fourth largest foreign investor and has invested more than US$ 1 billion in the country, mostly in the mining sector. In 2008, bilateral trade grew more than one-quarter to about $ 2.63 billion.

In October 2009, state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation started building a crude oil port in Burma, part of a pipeline that will carry 12 million metric tons of crude oil a year from the Middle East and Africa through Burma into China, roughly 6 percent of China’s total imports last year. Another pipeline, slated to come online in 2012, will have a capacity to bring in 12 million cubic metres of gas from Burma into China.

Burma gives China access to the Indian Ocean through its ports, not just for oil and gas import and export to China’s landlocked southwest, but also for potential military bases.

The generals, meanwhile, depend on China for money and armaments. In 2006, during a visit to Yunnan, Burma’s Commerce Minister Tin Naing Thein thanked Beijing for being a "good neighbor" and offering "vigorous support" following the 1988 crackdown on pro-democracy protestors. China also offers Burma some protection within the United Nations Security Council.

"Burma is isolated from the international community, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) has put a lot of pressure on Burma to improve its human rights conditions," said Yu Changsen, an associate professor in the International Affairs Department of Sun Yat-Sen University, located in Guandong Province. "Burma depends on China in many aspects… [The relationship] is somewhat like that of China and North Korea."

Despite appearances, relations in recent years have been increasingly troubled. For many years, China backed Burmese communists in their armed struggle with the government, and many of Burma’s current leaders once fought against the communists. Today, many Burmese view China as a pillager of resources.

Huang Yunjing, an associate professor at Sun Yat-Sen University’s Asia- Pacific Research Institute, said that the schisms in China-Burma relations are overblown, noting that China’s investments in its military-ruled neighbor continue to grow. "China and Burma share many common interests in political, economic and security aspects," he said.

"We have a good bilateral partnership, and in many ways we support each other in a mutually beneficial way."

But China is growing increasingly concerned about more unrest in the troubled border region. This concern was made apparent with the recent deployment of 5,000 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops along China’s southwestern border with Burma, according to reports by The Irrawaddy, a Thailand-based news magazine run by exiled Burmese.

The threat of border skirmishes grows greater as the elections, thought to be held sometime this summer, draw near. The generals have long sought to consolidate power in the restive and porous regions that border Yunnan, where ethnic minorities on both sides share blood ties.

Further violence could disrupt border trade, create a refugee crisis and lead to increased narcotics production and trafficking. It would also put at risk a large number of Chinese nationals in the region, according to Dr. Storey.

"If that happens," Sun Yat-Sen’s Yu said, "it will definitely give the Chinese government a headache."

http://www.irrawaddy.org/

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ตั้งหัวข้อ  แฟนคลับ on Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:33 pm

Report: Myanmar beginning a nuclear weapons program

BANGKOK - Documents smuggled out of Myanmar by an army defector indicate its military regime is trying to develop nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, and North Korea is probably assisting the program, an expatriate media group said Friday.

The Norway-based Democratic Voice of Burma said the defector had been involved in the nuclear program and smuggled out extensive files and photographs describing experiments with uranium and specialized equipment needed to build a nuclear reactor and develop enrichment capabilities.

But the group concluded in a report that Myanmar is still far from producing a nuclear weapon.

On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Jim Webb announced he was postponing a trip to Myanmar because of new allegations that it was collaborating with North Korea to develop a nuclear program.

Webb, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia and Pacific Affairs, referred to documents provided by a Myanmar army defector.

Myanmar's military government has denied similar allegations in the past, but suspicions have mounted recently that the impoverished Southeast Asian nation has embarked on a nuclear program.

Myanmar's junta, which has been condemned worldwide for its human rights abuses, has no hostile neighbours. The military's prime concern is suppressing dissidents at home and battling several small-scaled insurgencies.

Last month, U.N. experts monitoring sanctions imposed against North Korea over its nuclear and missile tests said their research indicated it was involved in banned nuclear and ballistic missile activities in Iran, Syria and Myanmar, which is also called Burma.

The DVB report said Russia has also trained Myanmar technicians in nuclear and missile technology.

The group, which operates Oslo-based television and radio stations, said the defector, Sai Thein Win, was an army major who was trained in Myanmar as a defence engineer and later in Russia as a missile expert. It said he had access to secret Myanmar nuclear facilities including a nuclear battalion north of Mandalay "charged with building up a nuclear weapons capability."

It said the documents it obtained were examined by Robert Kelley, an American nuclear scientist and former director in the International Atomic Energy Agency who concluded that Myanmar "is probably mining uranium and exploring nuclear technology that is only useful for weapons."

The group said its report was based on a five-year study that indicated that North Korea was involved in assisting the program.

Documents obtained earlier showed that North Korea was helping Myanmar dig a series of underground facilities and develop missiles with a range of up to 3,000 kilometres (1,860 miles).

The group said the documents obtained from the defector show a number of components used in nuclear weapons and missile technology, including a missile fuel pump impeller, chemical engineering equipment that can be used to make compounds used in uranium enrichment, and nozzles used to separate uranium isotopes into bomb materials.

"The total picture is very compelling. Burma is trying to build pieces of a nuclear program, specifically a nuclear reactor to make plutonium and a uranium enrichment program," the report said.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/world/breakingnews/report-myanmar-beginning-a-nuclear-weapons-program-95593979.html

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ตั้งหัวข้อ  แฟนคลับ on Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:38 pm

Junta Constructing Tunnel in Magway

The Burmese military regime is constructing a tunnel in Rakhine Yoma, some 80 km west of Padan Township in Magway Division, local sources said.

The tunnel is 50 feet wide and 50 feet high, a worker from the project said, and is being supervised by North Korean technicians.

“Only cars which are authorized by the local army can enter the project area,” he said. “The tunnel is quite long and when they dynamite the tunnel, people have just 30 minutes to get outside.”

Another worker said that the new tunnel is connected to several other tunnels that are burrowed into the mountainside.

Workers such as carpenters and welders work in day and night shifts, and earn 900 kyat (US $0.90) per shift at the site, the worker said.

On Friday, fresh evidence of the regime constructing a secret network of hidden bunkers and tunnels across the country surfaced. According to an investigative film by an exiled Burmese broadcaster, the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), which was aired by Al Jazeera on Friday, some tunnels are marked as substations for fiber optic cables and are part of a plan to provide the military with a secure nationwide communications network.

“They are constructing a tunnel ... a huge tunnel. Many tunnels all over the country,” said Sai Thein Win—a former defense engineer and missile expert who recently defected from the army—in the film.

The documentary also revealed bunkers alleged to be used as secret military storage facilities and command centers in case of aerial attacks.

When Ne Win’s socialist government was in power in the 1980s and 90s, a series of defense and military equipment factories were built between the Irrawaddy River and Rakhine Yoma, and in Htone Bo, Nyaung Chay Htauk and Ma Lon. The factories are connected with the Pathein- Monywa highway. Padan is also located near the Pathein- Monywa highway with easy access to the strategic Min Bu– Amm highway.

No transparent plans or records exist that describe the tunnel project, nor whether it is for military or economic purposes.

Speaking to The Irrawaddy on Friday, a source from Naypyidaw’s military community said, “There are a lot of secret military projects in Minn Done, Padan, Pwint Phyu, Say Tote Taya, Salin, Pakkoku, Laung Shay, Saw and on the western side of Seik Phyu Township.”

He continued: “When the current telecommunications minister, Maj-Gen Thein Zaw, was chairman of Magway Division, he planned to extract uranium with Col Zaw Minn, the commander of 88 Command in Saku.”

He said the military regime also has plans to construct munitions factories in Bago Yoma, Naypyidaw, Natt Mauk, Aung Lan and Pauk Khaung.

Sai Thein Win told the DVB that he has shown the secret files from the project to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In November 2008, a Burmese military delegation led by Gen Shwe Mann flew secretly to North Korea and met the army-in-chief, Gen Kim Kyok-sik. They agreed terms of cooperation on several military initiatives, including radar and jamming units, air defense systems, and a computer-controlled command center. The delegation also visited North Korean SCUD missile factories which are located in the tunnels.

The two countries signed an agreement that North Korea will help in the construction of military facilities for missiles, aircraft and war ships.

Further evidence of cooperation between the two countries surfaced in June 2009 when a ship from North Korea en route to Burma was suspected of carried weapons. International media agencies broadcast footage and photos of the Burmese regime's network of tunnels and claimed they were part of an underground nuclear bunker.

The Irrawaddy reporter Ba Kaung

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